Asymmetrical: A balance achieved through the use of unequal parts or elements. (For example: imagine a beach ball by the side of a stick and two baseballs on the other side balancing out the picture.)
Balance: A principle of art and design concerned with the arrangement of one or more elements in a work of art so that they appear symmetrical (identical compositional units on either side of an axis) or asymmetrical (not identical) in design and proportion.
Color: Element of art derived from reflected light. The sensation of color is aroused in the brain by response of the eyes to different wavelengths of light. Color has three properties: hue, value, and intensity.
Composition: The arrangement of forms in a work of art.
Content: A work of art is usually discussed in terms of its subject matter, form and content. Content refers to the intellectual, psychological, spiritual, narrative or aesthetic aspect of the work.
Contour drawing: An outline that shows only the edge and not the volume or mass of an object. Sometimes called blind contour if the artists in not looking at their paper, only at their subject.
Contrast: Use of opposites near or beside one another (light and dark, rough and smooth).
Cool colors: mostly green, blue, violet (purple).
Dominance: The difference in importance of one aspect in relation to all other aspects of design. What stands out most in a work of art.
Emphasis: Principle of design concerned that stresses one element or area in a work of art to make it attract the viewer’s attention first.
Exaggeration: Increasing or enlarging an object or figure or one of its parts to communicate ideas and feelings.
Federal Arts Project: Government program established during the Depression to create jobs for American artists.
Focal point: The center of interest of an artwork; the part you look at first.
Form: An artist uses form as a vehicle for rendering a particular type of subject matter. The formal elements of a work consist of the groupings and combinations of shapes.
Gouache: Pigments ground in water and mixed with gum to form opaque watercolor. Gouache resembles school tempera paint or poster paint.